Thanks to the er...4 people who reviewed the first part of this. If you would like to read the introduction please go here: Part I. Even though I appreciate the nice remarks, I would appreciate it more if someone could offer me some advice on how to improve both parts. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy it!
Chapter One- Salvation
When I was twelve years old, my mother was murdered. Her murderer wasn’t kind enough to shoot her through her skull, where only a stream of blood and a bullet wound would be there for her daughter to find. No, I came in from school, excited about my new art project, and found the lower half of my mother strewn across our Victorian sofa, her arms and shoulder blades under the coffee table, her torso behind the buffet, and her head resting serenely on the television. Of all the things I can remember about that afternoon, the stench, the blood-soaked carpet, the static silence in my ears, it was my mother’s eyes I can remember most. It’s been seven years, and I can still see them. Hollow and white, but still my mother’s. For a second that lasted an eternity, I stood there, locked in her gaze. My blood ran cold, my eyes were wide in disbelief. I trembled until my books shook out of my hands, and my backpack slid off my shoulder. She was still staring at me, trying to tell me something, warn me. My mother is dead.
Then, I broke. I ran faster than any twelve year old could realistically run. I didn’t know where I was running, but I ran. I ran until my knees felt like they were going to break in half, until the sun felt like a boulder on my shoulders, until I ran headfirst into a body.
I fell flat on my back and lost all my breath. Exhaustion came in on me like a curtain on a closing act. There was a face looking down on me with unsettling familiarity, but I didn’t have time to think about it. Everything went black.
I woke up once, in someone’s arms, but immediately passed out again. When I finally opened my eyes, I was lying on a couch, and my head throbbed. The light of the late afternoon sun poured through a small window, and dimly lit the room I found myself in. Through the stead pain in my skull, I studied it. It was completely white, and scantily decorated. There was a small stone fountain sitting on the unstained coffee table. Its gurgling was soothing to my head. Then, without warning, my mother’s disconnected body popped into my head again, and I let out a blood-curdling scream.
A man cam running into the room, but stopped short of coming near me. I shut my mouth. The man was young –maybe 25 –and his head was cleanly shaven. His brows were dark and sharp, and made an impressive frame for his shocking blue eyes. I glanced up at him, speechless, then quickly averted my eyes.
“You’re a tiny thing,” he said to me in a rumbling voice. Fear pulsed through my veins like an animal. My fingernails had disappeared into the cushion of the couch I sat in, and my knuckles were bloodless. I wasn’t stupid. I knew why men kidnapped young girls.
“What are you going to do to me?” I tried to sound brave, but my vision went blurry, and my voice was shaking madly. He laughed. I flinched, even though it wasn’t an unpleasant laugh.
“I’m not going to hurt you.”
I took a brave glance into his dark eyes, trying to seek out his honesty. If eyes were truly windows into a person’s soul –he had no soul. His eyes were the blue of cobalt and no less hard. But there was something about the way he moved and breathed, and looked at me straight in the face, without even a flicker to my undeveloped body. His head was tilted, and his mouth was pulling downwards.
“What happened to my mother?” My cheeks were sticky and wet with my falling tears, and my words came out thick. “Why would someone do that?” I broke down in front of this strange man. I was just a girl, before the beginnings of womanhood, my hands in my face, my entire body shaking. There was a man, standing tall, mature, his voice deep, unfamiliarly soothing, watching me. But there, in this nightmare I was living, I had no one, and so I cried. He let me. He paced, watching me, silent. I was more grateful for this than if he had tried to comfort me.
I looked up at him, my eyes almost unable to open for the tears.
“There are people out there who have no love for you or for justice.”
“What did she do to…them?”
“Nothing.” He shook his head. “She did nothing.”
“They didn’t even know her?” I felt fresh tears coming up my throat. I swallowed hard.
I was speechless. My mother had just been brutally murdered for nothing. Then, I snapped out of the slump I was in, and a new determination flared inside of me.“Oh, my God! We’ve got to get to the police! They have to find these people!” I jumped up and looked frantically around for a phone. I ran for it, but he leapt in front of me.
“No! You don’t know who you’re dealing with. I do. You can’t just call the police.”
“Yes, I can!” I was furious, why wouldn’t he get out of my way? Was he insane? This had to be reported!
“You’ve got to listen to me!”
“Get out of my way!” I pushed him hard in the solar plexus, and he blanched for a second, then grabbed hard onto my arms.
“Listen to me, Carina!”
I stopped struggling and my face fell.
“Who are you? What the hell do you want with me?” His iron grip loosened, and he sighed.
“There’s time for that later. I have to show you something.”
I went with him. We walked several blocks through a part of town I didn’t know. The sky was purpling like a fresh bruise, and the tall buildings around me grew into monsters. I found myself walking closer to this man, who towered over me. I didn’t know him, and I didn’t trust him, but he was all I had in this twisted new reality. In the darkest hours of your life, you must always find hope. The hope I felt was deflated, inept, but I clung to it like a newborn clings to his mother’s breast. It was my oxygen as this stifling truth closed in on me, and sucked the air out of my lungs, threatening to drain all life from me.
Finally, he stopped in front of a house. It was very small, painted yellow, with a screened in porch and an herb garden in the front. I shook my head in molten lava panic. This was my house.
“I’m not going back in there. Oh, God, get me away from here!” I set off to run again, away from this man, the blood and death, and my mother’s eyes. He caught me by my waist and pulled me to look into his eyes. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. I slapped him, trying to break free, but he wouldn’t budge.
“Don’t call me that! It’s not my name!” I barked at him, and tried to push him away.
“You’ve got to go back in. You’ll never believe me if you don’t.”
“Let go! Please, please just let me go!” He didn’t.
“Where will you go? You have nowhere to run!” I struggled still. He wouldn’t stop me with his tricky words. He picked me up by my waist, and I screamed and twisted and grunted and hit him in the face. He wasn’t letting go. He opened the screen door, then the front door. My eyes shut quicker than I could imagine.
“Look, Carina! Open your eyes!” He was shaking me now…
“No! Stop it! No!” He wasn’t shaking me, I was shaking from anger, paint, hatred, insanity. We were yelling, both of us. I was crying.
My eyes flung open.
It was my living room, just as I remembered leaving it that morning, not as I found it that afternoon. But my mother wasn’t singing in the kitchen. The house smelled clean, but not like home. I longed for the scent of lavender candles and bread in the oven, but the singeing aroma of multi-purpose cleaner and wood polish lay heavily in the air, instead. Even though I wasn’t standing amidst the horror that I had left, I knew that my mother was still dead. I knew that everything was real.
I was shaking my head, crying. “This is impossible.”
In one hour, I had aged ten years.
I've written two more parts, and if I get enough positive feedback, I'll post those up soon. Thanks for your time!
NOTE: After I posted this, I decided that it wasn't ready, and so I rewrote it. I think this updated version is better. Let me know, okay guys?